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Lamentations 3King James Version (KJV)

I Am the man that hath seen affliction by the rod of his wrath.

He hath led me, and brought me into darkness, but not into light.

Surely against me is he turned; he turneth his hand against me all the day.

My flesh and my skin hath he made old; he hath broken my bones.

He hath builded against me, and compassed me with gall and travail.

He hath set me in dark places, as they that be dead of old.

He hath hedged me about, that I cannot get out: he hath made my chain heavy.

Also when I cry and shout, he shutteth out my prayer.

He hath inclosed my ways with hewn stone, he hath made my paths crooked.

10 He was unto me as a bear lying in wait, and as a lion in secret places.

11 He hath turned aside my ways, and pulled me in pieces: he hath made me desolate.

12 He hath bent his bow, and set me as a mark for the arrow.

13 He hath caused the arrows of his quiver to enter into my reins.

14 I was a derision to all my people; and their song all the day.

15 He hath filled me with bitterness, he hath made me drunken with wormwood.

16 He hath also broken my teeth with gravel stones, he hath covered me with ashes.

17 And thou hast removed my soul far off from peace: I forgat prosperity.

18 And I said, My strength and my hope is perished from the Lord:

19 Remembering mine affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall.

20 My soul hath them still in remembrance, and is humbled in me.

21 This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.

22 It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.

23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

24 The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.

25 The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.

26 It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.

27 It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth.

28 He sitteth alone and keepeth silence, because he hath borne it upon him.

29 He putteth his mouth in the dust; if so be there may be hope.

30 He giveth his cheek to him that smiteth him: he is filled full with reproach.

31 For the Lord will not cast off for ever:

32 But though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies.

33 For he doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men.

34 To crush under his feet all the prisoners of the earth.

35 To turn aside the right of a man before the face of the most High,

36 To subvert a man in his cause, the Lord approveth not.

37 Who is he that saith, and it cometh to pass, when the Lord commandeth it not?

38 Out of the mouth of the most High proceedeth not evil and good?

39 Wherefore doth a living man complain, a man for the punishment of his sins?

40 Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the Lord.

41 Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the heavens.

42 We have transgressed and have rebelled: thou hast not pardoned.

43 Thou hast covered with anger, and persecuted us: thou hast slain, thou hast not pitied.

44 Thou hast covered thyself with a cloud, that our prayer should not pass through.

45 Thou hast made us as the offscouring and refuse in the midst of the people.

46 All our enemies have opened their mouths against us.

47 Fear and a snare is come upon us, desolation and destruction.

48 Mine eye runneth down with rivers of water for the destruction of the daughter of my people.

49 Mine eye trickleth down, and ceaseth not, without any intermission.

50 Till the Lord look down, and behold from heaven.

51 Mine eye affecteth mine heart because of all the daughters of my city.

52 Mine enemies chased me sore, like a bird, without cause.

53 They have cut off my life in the dungeon, and cast a stone upon me.

54 Waters flowed over mine head; then I said, I am cut off.

55 I called upon thy name, O Lord, out of the low dungeon.

56 Thou hast heard my voice: hide not thine ear at my breathing, at my cry.

57 Thou drewest near in the day that I called upon thee: thou saidst, Fear not.

58 O Lord, thou hast pleaded the causes of my soul; thou hast redeemed my life.

59 O Lord, thou hast seen my wrong: judge thou my cause.

60 Thou hast seen all their vengeance and all their imaginations against me.

61 Thou hast heard their reproach, O Lord, and all their imaginations against me;

62 The lips of those that rose up against me, and their device against me all the day.

63 Behold their sitting down, and their rising up; I am their musick.

64 Render unto them a recompence, O Lord, according to the work of their hands.

65 Give them sorrow of heart, thy curse unto them.

66 Persecute and destroy them in anger from under the heavens of the Lord.

Lamentations 3The Message (MSG)

God Locked Me Up in Deep Darkness

1-3 I’m the man who has seen trouble,
    trouble coming from the lash of God’s anger.
He took me by the hand and walked me
    into pitch-black darkness.
Yes, he’s given me the back of his hand
    over and over and over again.

4-6 He turned me into a scarecrow
    of skin and bones, then broke the bones.
He hemmed me in, ganged up on me,
    poured on the trouble and hard times.
He locked me up in deep darkness,
    like a corpse nailed inside a coffin.

7-9 He shuts me in so I’ll never get out,
    manacles my hands, shackles my feet.
Even when I cry out and plead for help,
    he locks up my prayers and throws away the key.
He sets up blockades with quarried limestone.
    He’s got me cornered.

10-12 He’s a prowling bear tracking me down,
    a lion in hiding ready to pounce.
He knocked me from the path and ripped me to pieces.
    When he finished, there was nothing left of me.
He took out his bow and arrows
    and used me for target practice.

13-15 He shot me in the stomach
    with arrows from his quiver.
Everyone took me for a joke,
    made me the butt of their mocking ballads.
He forced rotten, stinking food down my throat,
    bloated me with vile drinks.

16-18 He ground my face into the gravel.
    He pounded me into the mud.
I gave up on life altogether.
    I’ve forgotten what the good life is like.
I said to myself, “This is it. I’m finished.
    God is a lost cause.”

It’s a Good Thing to Hope for Help from God

19-21 I’ll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness,
    the taste of ashes, the poison I’ve swallowed.
I remember it all—oh, how well I remember—
    the feeling of hitting the bottom.
But there’s one other thing I remember,
    and remembering, I keep a grip on hope:

22-24 God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out,
    his merciful love couldn’t have dried up.
They’re created new every morning.
    How great your faithfulness!
I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over).
    He’s all I’ve got left.

25-27 God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits,
    to the woman who diligently seeks.
It’s a good thing to quietly hope,
    quietly hope for help from God.
It’s a good thing when you’re young
    to stick it out through the hard times.

28-30 When life is heavy and hard to take,
    go off by yourself. Enter the silence.
Bow in prayer. Don’t ask questions:
    Wait for hope to appear.
Don’t run from trouble. Take it full-face.
    The “worst” is never the worst.

31-33 Why? Because the Master won’t ever
    walk out and fail to return.
If he works severely, he also works tenderly.
    His stockpiles of loyal love are immense.
He takes no pleasure in making life hard,
    in throwing roadblocks in the way:

34-36 Stomping down hard
    on luckless prisoners,
Refusing justice to victims
    in the court of High God,
Tampering with evidence—
    the Master does not approve of such things.

God Speaks Both Good Things and Hard Things into Being

37-39 Who do you think “spoke and it happened”?
    It’s the Master who gives such orders.
Doesn’t the High God speak everything,
    good things and hard things alike, into being?
And why would anyone gifted with life
    complain when punished for sin?

40-42 Let’s take a good look at the way we’re living
    and reorder our lives under God.
Let’s lift our hearts and hands at one and the same time,
    praying to God in heaven:
“We’ve been contrary and willful,
    and you haven’t forgiven.

43-45 “You lost your temper with us, holding nothing back.
    You chased us and cut us down without mercy.
You wrapped yourself in thick blankets of clouds
    so no prayers could get through.
You treated us like dirty dishwater,
    threw us out in the backyard of the nations.

46-48 “Our enemies shout abuse,
    their mouths full of derision, spitting invective.
We’ve been to hell and back.
    We’ve nowhere to turn, nowhere to go.
Rivers of tears pour from my eyes
    at the smashup of my dear people.

49-51 “The tears stream from my eyes,
    an artesian well of tears,
Until you, God, look down from on high,
    look and see my tears.
When I see what’s happened to the young women in the city,
    the pain breaks my heart.

52-54 “Enemies with no reason to be enemies
    hunted me down like a bird.
They threw me into a pit,
    then pelted me with stones.
Then the rains came and filled the pit.
    The water rose over my head. I said, ‘It’s all over.’

55-57 “I called out your name, O God,
    called from the bottom of the pit.
You listened when I called out, ‘Don’t shut your ears!
    Get me out of here! Save me!’
You came close when I called out.
    You said, ‘It’s going to be all right.’

58-60 “You took my side, Master;
    you brought me back alive!
God, you saw the wrongs heaped on me.
    Give me my day in court!
Yes, you saw their mean-minded schemes,
    their plots to destroy me.

61-63 “You heard, God, their vicious gossip,
    their behind-my-back plots to ruin me.
They never quit, these enemies of mine, dreaming up mischief,
    hatching out malice, day after day after day.
Sitting down or standing up—just look at them!—
    they mock me with vulgar doggerel.

64-66 “Make them pay for what they’ve done, God.
    Give them their just deserts.
Break their miserable hearts!
    Damn their eyes!
Get good and angry. Hunt them down.
    Make a total demolition here under your heaven!”

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

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